From Mia Paulus, Founder and CEO of The Centr:

Today I want to write about my perfectly, imperfect morning routine and what I am hoping that you take away from this is to just give yourself a little break! It is so easy to beat yourself up when you feel like a “hot mess express” in the morning. But if you are one of the ones who really struggles with your morning routine, know that it’s okay if it is imperfect! Social media tends to make us believe that everyone else has a perfect morning routine. Whether it’s fancy coffee drinks, stillness, a perfectly clean house, fitness, I could go on and on. Once we have that down we will be happy right? Wrong. 


I am a believer that there are seasons in life and in those times things will look different. So I am going to show you in contrast how my morning routine has been in different phases of my life so that you can know that what you are doing now is okay! First, you need to know that I am a very goal oriented and passionate person so this blog is not at all about accepting a subpar version of myself. For me it is just about knowing what I need in my life at that moment. I have learned that If you take a more inward approach versus an outward one you will reap many benefits in life and your morning routine is just a small piece of that. 


My Morning Routine: Post-Divorce

After I got divorced in 2010, I was really good at waking up in the morning. I had two kids but they were 4 and 7 so they were a little older and I had a little bit more flexibility. I was able to work it out with my boyfriend (now husband) who would watch the kids at certain times when I needed it. As a result, I was able to wake up at 5 am and go on these 4 hour road bike trips with my girlfriends–it was great! 


My Morning Routine: With Small Children

Then I got married, and we started thinking about if we wanted to have more children (we both had two kids of our own) and we decided we did. We ended up having 3 little boys together, back to back. I was literally weaning the first and the next one came along and so on. So naturally, I didn’t have a lot of time for myself. Between being a CEO of a company and being a mom–something had to give. At that time, I couldn’t wake up as early or go on these long bike rides with my girlfriends. I am the type of person who wakes up at 2 or 3 in the morning with great ideas (or at least I think they are great haha!) that I jot down. This causes me to be up for a few hours in the middle of the night so to be able to wake up at 5 am just wasn’t an option. I have also learned over time that I am very sleep driven. I have to be able to get enough sleep to have the brain power to do what I need to do. Some people are able to operate and even thrive on little sleep but that is just not me. Having 3 boys so close in age has really shown me how different one person is to the next. One of my boys is just like me SO sleep driven, another one is sleep and food driven, the other one is just food driven. So you have to delicately balance meeting these important unique needs for each individual child. If you have children and can really examine their similarities and differences you can really learn a lot. What I learned from my boys is how important it is to listen to what you need. So for me I know I need sleep. 

I rarely sleep past 7 but I would LOVE to wake up at 5 in the morning and have my morning routine again–but with 3 young boys it wasn’t possible. To be honest, even if I decided to wake up at 5 (parents you know!), the kids would choose that day to wake up right when I do. It’s like they have a sixth sense about when you leave your room. That scenario happened to me SO many times that eventually I just gave up. I decided to enjoy that time. My little one would come snuggle up with me in the early morning in my room and though I was and am always trying to work on encouraging independence I knew it was a season. With my older ones I was so rigid, they needed to always be in their bed, even if they cried about it. But with time came perspective and when I had my younger kids I was much more relaxed. Ultimately, I know now that this season of motherhood is so short-lived. So I have learned to accept and appreciate that.  


My Morning Routine: NOW

Now my youngest is right at the sweet spot, which I consider to be around 3 ½ to 4. The time where you can have some independence again. And my husband has started to get into the notion of road biking too and so we can do it together while the older kids watch the younger ones. Or my mom who lives close by can come over. My point with all of this is that it is so easy for us to look at “experts” and wonder why we can’t do it or what we are doing wrong. But it is okay to accept and be content with where you are in your life at the present moment. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have the things I TRY to do every morning like praying, studying scripture or something to get myself in a good headspace. So don’t get me wrong–I AM a proponent of morning routines. It’s just the following of someone else’s morning routine that won’t lead to happiness. 


Ultimately, if you take anything away from this it is that a great practice is to look at where you are in life and give yourself grace. If you are someone who has young kids or just a lot on your plate in general cherish where you are now and do what you can!


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